9 of the most successful people share their reading habits | Business Insider​​​​​​​ (2024)

Most successful peoplecredit reading, in some capacity, as a factor in their success.

A young Elon Musk read for 10 hours each day before growing up to become Tesla CEO. These days, former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates reads a new book every week.

Here's how some of their peers incorporate reading into their own lives.

Warren Buffett

9 of the most successful people share their reading habits |Business Insider​​​​​​​ (1)

Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

The Berkshire Hathaway magnate reportedly spendsfive to six hours a dayreading five different newspapers.

He also combs through500 pages of financial documentsand recommends prospective investors do the same.

"That's how knowledge works," he recentlytoldan investment class at Columbia University. "It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it."

Bill Gates

9 of the most successful people share their reading habits |Business Insider​​​​​​​ (2)

Gates Notes

The former Microsoft CEO has attested to reading50 books a year, or roughly one book a week.

Most of the booksare non-fictiondealing with public health, disease, engineering, business, and science.

Every now and then he'll breeze through a novel (and sometimesin one sittinglate into the night). But primarily the books serve Gates' interest in learning more about the world he inhabits.

Mark Zuckerberg

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REUTERS/Stephen Lam

In 2015, the Facebook CEO vowed to read one book every other week "with an emphasis on learning about different cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies," hewrotein a Facebook post.

"Books allow you to fully explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today," he wrote. "I'm looking forward to shifting more of my media diet towards reading books."

Oprah Winfrey

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Amazon

Since 1996, the veteran talk-show host has been advising her viewers' reading habits with Oprah's Book Club. Winfreyhas calledreading "her personal path to freedom."

"Books allowed me to see a world beyond the front porch of my grandmother's shotgun house," she saidin her acceptance speechfor the 2004 United Nations Humanitarian Awards, adding that books gave her "the power to see possibilities beyond what was allowed at the time."

Mark Cuban

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Kevork Djansezian/Getty

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is a vocal supporter of treating business like a sport, which means he looks for the competitive edge however he can.

Often, that means reading for three hours every day, just to learn more about the industries he works in. Cuban has said this worked wonders at the start of his career.

"Everything I read was public," hewrotein his blog's Success and Motivation Series. "Anyone could buy the same books and magazines. The same information was available to anyone who wanted it. Turns out most people didn't want it."

David Rubenstein

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REUTERS/Fred Prouser

Rubenstein, billionaire cofounder of the private equity firm The Carlyle Group,reportedly readsup to eight newspapers a day and six books a week.

The philanthropist chalks up his extraordinary ability to a laserlike sense of focus.

"From early on, I've been pretty driven," hetoldThe Baltimore Sun in 2010.

Phil Knight

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Getty Images / Steve Dykes

According to The New York Times, the Nike founder keptthe library behind his executive office so sacred that anyone who entered had to remove their shoes and bow.

Whenasked by the Times in 2007if he'd preserved the library after stepping down as CEO three years prior, Knight responded with incredulity.

"Of course the library still exists," he said. "I'm always learning."

Elon Musk

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AP Photo/Jack Plunkett

Long before he became the CEO of Tesla, and even before he cofounded PayPal, a young Elon Muskwas reading science-fiction novelsfor up to 10 hours a day.

He also reportedly read throughthe entire Encyclopedia Britannicawhen he was 9 years old.

He still credits a love of books for his vast knowledge about rockets. Whenaskedhow he knew so much about them, he said "I read a lot of books."

Chris Weller

Business Insider

9 of the most successful people share their reading habits | Business Insider​​​​​​​ (2024)

FAQs

How many books does Mark Zuckerberg read a month? ›

Mark Zuckerberg

In 2015, the Facebook CEO vowed to read one book every other week "with an emphasis on learning about different cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies," he wrote in a Facebook post.

Did Mark Zuckerberg read a lot? ›

Zuckerberg is a voracious reader who has said that reading helps him learn about new things and test his own understanding. He mainly reads non-fiction books, and some of his favorite authors include Bill Gates and Sheryl Sandberg.

How many hours does Elon Musk read? ›

Similarly, Musk's habit of reading began at a young age, with reports suggesting he spent up to ten hours a day immersed in books, even reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica.

Does Bill Gates read a lot? ›

According to his wife Melinda, Bill reads approximately 150 pages per hour, a staggering speed, especially given that he takes in and understands the vast majority of what he reads (his comprehension level is off the charts). He takes notes as he goes, whether it be in the margins or on a yellow legal pad.

Does Elon Musk read books everyday? ›

Before Elon Musk became the owner of Tesla, he read for 10 hours a day. It helped him build confidence, empathy, decision-making, and other skills that are crucial to being a business owner.

Is Elon Musk a speed reader? ›

Speed Reading — Elon Musk - Level 3 — 100 wpm. Every December, TIME magazine announces its Person of the Year.

What's Mark Zuckerberg's IQ? ›

Einstein IQ: 160+, Bill Gates IQ: 150+, Elon Musk IQ: 155, Zuckerberg IQ: 152, Sunny Doel's IQ: over 160.

Does Warren Buffett read 500 pages a day? ›

Buffett spends 80% of his day reading

Supposedly, in the early days of Buffett's investment career, he would read 600-1000 pages in a single day. Nowadays, he still dedicates 80% of his day to reading. “Read 500 pages… every day.

How many pages does Bill Gates read a day? ›

Gates won't begin reading a book that he won't finish. According to his wife Melinda, Bill reads approximately 150 pages per hour, a staggering speed, especially given that he takes in and understands the vast majority of what he reads (his comprehension level is off the charts).

What is Elon Musk's IQ? ›

As mentioned earlier, Elon Musk's IQ score is believed to be between 155 and 160. Above-average IQ scores within this range are only reserved for the "Highly Gifted" IQ classification.

Does Jeff Bezos read? ›

And just like most other successful people, Jeff Bezos has a habit of reading books too. Bezos is very passionate about books and reading. And in the appendix of Brad Stone's book on Amazon, there is a list of books called “Jeff's Reading List”. You can find the books recommended by Jeff Bezos there.

How much time does Elon sleep? ›

Musk goes to bed around 3 a.m. and gets about 6 hours of sleep every night.

What's the IQ of Bill Gates? ›

Bill Gates' IQ is often estimated to be around 160.

It can be inferred from his early admission to Harvard University, his near-perfect SAT score, his achievements in creating and developing Microsoft, and his well-documented aptitude for mathematics and logical thinking from a young age.

How many hours does Warren Buffett read? ›

Indeed, the Oracle of Omaha has said that he spends “five or six hours a day” reading books and newspapers. And while it may be difficult to set aside nearly a full work day's worth of hours to read, it recently got a little bit easier to consume information like Warren Buffett.

What Warren Buffett reads everyday? ›

I read annual reports, and I read a lot of other things, too. So, I've always enjoyed reading. I love reading biographies, for example.” – Warren Buffett. So Buffett says he reads around 5-6 hours daily, including newspapers, magazines, 10Ks, annual reports, and biographies.

How many books does Mark Zuckerberg read? ›

In 2015, Mark Zuckerberg did something slightly unusual for a CEO of a major technology company: He started a book club! In that year, Zuckerberg ended up recommending and discussing 23 books with the group — about one every two weeks. We found it a great list of interesting reads.

How many books does Mark Zuckerberg read a week? ›

Mark Zuckerberg reads at least one book every two weeks. Elon Musk grew up reading two books a day, according to his brother. Mark Cuban reads more than 3 hours every day. Arthur Blank, co-founder of Home Depot, reads two hours a day.

How many books does Elon Musk read in a month? ›

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) reads 2 books a DAY, while most people read only 14 a YEAR. Aim to read 1+ book a month in your target language. In this video, I talk more about the power of reading & share my best tips to get more (and BETTER!)

How many books do CEOs read a month? ›

In fact, the average number of books read by a CEO is 60 books per year, or five books each month. “What I know for sure is that reading opens you up,” says Oprah, “It exposes you and gives you access to anything your mind can hold. What I love most about reading—It gives you the ability to reach higher ground.”

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